April 25th, 2011, 11:08 pm
The Dudes celebrate the gritty round 1 win against the Kings, with Joe Thornton putting in the game winner. Mike and Doug identify the series MVP, evaluate Niemi’s performance and prospects, and look forward to either Chicago or Detroit in round 2.
Podcast: Play in new window
April 22nd, 2011, 1:59 pm
Great game last night. And it was made that much better by participating in a chat right here at DOH. I think we had about 15 people at the peak, which was really great. Just a fun way to watch an away game, I plan on joining for future games, and encourage you all do to the same. I just installed a differerent kind of chat, an IRC-based one, which I think will be more robust than the one we used last night. You can even get IRC clients for smartphones, or a standalone one that you install on your computer. I already tried an iPhone client, and it seems to work fine, so all those people who want to be at a bar and still participate in the chat, this will be a better solution.
Infrastructure stuff aside, it’s the 2nd line again that’s carrying the team. You know what? I don’t have a a problem with that. Doughty-Mitchell is as tough of a defensive pair as there is in hockey, and it’s nice the Sharks have an answer when those guys do their job. That’s not to excuse the Jumbo line, which really hasn’t been that great yet. Joe made a nice play to get his goal, but it was on a line change. It’s not like Joe, Seto, and Patty were cycling and creating chances for fifty seconds before Joe scored.
But really the most disappointing thing about the Sharks this postseason has been the utter lack of a 4th line. Mayers played only 5:10 last night, and was still -1, on a goal that was catalyzed by his turnover. Eager had only 3:18, but at least he wasn’t on the ice for that one- he must have just gotten off. I feel like Joe Montana when I say “turnovers can hurt you” (not the most trenchant thing ever said about sports), but the Sharks have really illustrated that in this series. I know icing is bad and all that, but wouldn’t you rather have a faceoff in your zone than a turnover at your own blue line? Especially for a team that is just killing it in the faceoff dot. Thornton was 6 for 7 against Stoll and 7 for 11 against Hanzus. That’s just flat-out domination.
Doug and I will be at the game tomorrow night, but feel free to jump on the chat again if you’re watching from home. I’d like to hear how it performs.
April 19th, 2011, 10:38 am
What, more bullet points? Amazing!
- People don’t use the term ‘gird your loins’ enough.
- Nobody gets to panic one little bit unless and until the Sharks lose game 3.
- Even then, I seem to remember something about being down 2-1 against Colorado last year…
- Thornton has to make an impact tonight. Maybe he can fight Trevor Lewis on the opening drop.
- Another big idea- keep an eye on #8. Just sayin’.
- Doug will be participating in the chat tonight during the game, if you want to stop by.
- Go Sharks.
April 5th, 2011, 11:54 am
The Sharks again embarrassed an opponent last night, just crushing the Kings 6-1. As you can see in our twitter feed to the right (woo hoo! new features!) the Sharks should have been a giant favorite, mostly because the Kings were missing their top two scorers. The Sharks had five players on the ice with more points than their top scorer last night, Dustin Brown.
And yet, there’s room for improvement. Check out this great post by Justin Bourne writing on the Puck Daddy blog. For whatever reason, he uses film clips almost exclusively from last night’s game to show what not to do, and our own Joe Thornton was the object of one lesson. I’m sure the coaches saw these, and I’d like to think corrections will be made. Even in my beer league leaving guys all alone in the slot is reason for derision.
We’ll be recording and posting the podcast tomorrow night after the Ducks game.
March 31st, 2011, 10:13 am
It’s been a while since I wrote a stats-related post, and I figured I’d write one to piggyback on an interesting post on the Behind the Net blog (not to be confused with Behind the Net, the numbers site). A while back I did a purge on the RSS feeds I read, and for some stupid reason, this blog was amongst the casualties. I really must have been in a slash-and-burn mood that day, because it’s really one of the best hockey blogs out there if you are statistically inclined. What I want to do today is highlight some of the stats talked about in the linked post, and who on the Sharks are the best at those categories.
First of all, some real quick and dirty explanations of some of the stats referenced there. I would recommend reading more about them, but not everyone can spend hours reading about advanced hockey metrics. And as Doug would say, why would you want to?
- GVT – Goals Versus Threshold. A complicated stat that tries to create one number for the value of a player, measured in goals in a season versus the value of a replacement-level player. Similar to VORP in baseball.
- Rating – a BTN stat that is the difference between your team’s +/- per 60 minutes when you are on the ice versus when you are off the ice. Unlike the regular +/- stat, it helps level the playing field for those on bad teams.
- QualComp – quality of competition. The weighted average of the Rating of the players you face on the ice.
- Corsi – a +/- stat that counts shots instead of goals. Actually, it counts all pucks directed towards the net, including missed and blocked shots. Unfortunately, it’s similar to the +/- stat in that players on good teams generally have better ones. Of the 28 players that have played a game for the Sharks this season, only 10 have negative Corsi, and most (Moore, Mashinter, Desjardins, McLaren, Wingells) aren’t regulars.
- Corsi Rel – The difference in your Corsi when you’re on the ice versus off.
- Corsi Rel QoC – Quality of Competition calculated not by +/- per 60, but Corsi Rel.
- Zone Starts – the percentage of shift-starting faceoffs being in the offensive zone.
If you’re still reading, pat yourself on the back, because that’s a load of math. Let’s highlight the different Sharks players leading the categories in the stats that the LOES highlighted, in the order that I think is most important. The following is all 5v5 stats, and I’m not including anyone that’s played fewer than 10 games.
Corsi Rel – Kyle Wellwood – 14.6
It’s surprising, and doubtless related to a red-hot Joe Pavelski and clicking third line since he arrived. Still, Wellwood leads the team in a stat I believe is miles better than +/-. One downside to Corsi Rel is that time-on-ice isn’t factored in, and it should be noted Wellwood has averaged only 13.07 minutes of even-strength ice time per game, good enough for 15th on the Sharks. For this reason, it’s worth mentioning the second place player, Ryane Clowe (14.1), who’s averaging more than two minutes more 5v5 ice time, and who I might argue is the team’s MVP. Top Corsi Rel among defensemen? Jason Demers (8.6).
QualComp – Patrick Marleau – 0.101
Marleau is way out in front on this stat, with the second place Joe Thornton at 0.087. Despite the fact that Marleau tends to play the wing more now, traditionally not as defensively important as center, he’s the go-to guy when the other team’s top line is on the ice. Top defenseman – Dan Boyle (0.062).
Corsi Rel QoC – Patrick Marleau – 0.885
I’m not sure why the LOES like Corsi so much yet mention QualComp instead CorsiRel QoC. If Corsi is better than +/-, then Corsi Rel QoC is better than QualComp. Maybe that’s what they meant. Anyway, unsurprisingly, Mareau leads again, but there’s a bit of shifting under him. Jumbo drops to 5th on the team, and Joe Pavelski (0.747) moves up to 2nd. Boyle moves up to 3rd.
Zone Starts – Scott Nichol – 39.4
This means when Nichol took a faceoff to start a shift, 60% of the time it was in the defensive zone. That’s a lot of trust from the coaching staff, and certainly related to the fact that Nichol is the best faceoff guy on the team. Like the last stat, it’s a way of measuring how sheltered a guy is. It’s been calculated that you give up about 0.25 shots every time you take a faceoff in the defensive zone, so this is why Nichol’s Corsi isn’t so good. With that in mind, it’s unsurprising that Marc-Edouard Vlasic (46.8) has the lowest zone start percentage among defensemen.
Time on Ice – Dan Boyle – 19.13
No doubt Boyle is the workhorse, and even strength is no exception. He also plays the most PP and ES time. Contrast this to the Ducks (for instance), with Vish leading the category, but if you look for #2, you see that Toni Lydman and Cam Fowler play about the same amount. However, Fowler plays almost no PK, and three and a half minutes per game on the PP. Lydman is the opposite, almost no PP time, but is way out in front of PK time. Certainly important when trying to evaluate a player.
I didn’t include GVT here because there isn’t a day-by-day calculation of GVT that I know of, and to be honest, GVT makes a lot of assumptions about the weights of various measures that I don’t necessarily agree with. I won’t go so far as to say the attempt to create one stat that measures everything is a fool’s errand, but I feel like I get a better picture of a player when I look at several stats, and not just one.
Just a note for tonight- Jamie Benn and Alex Gologoski lead the Stars in Corsi Rel, so watch out for those guys.
Tags: Dallas Stars
, Dan Boyle
, Jason Demers
, Joe Pavelski
, Joe Thornton
, Marc-Edouard Vlasic
, Patrick Marleau
, Ryane Clowe
, San Jose Sharks
, Scott Nichol
November 10th, 2010, 4:56 pm
The Dudes talk about the big news of the week and a genuine NHL controversy- the suspension of Joe Thornton because of a blindside hit on David Perron. Of course, there are Sharks games to discuss, and the worry starts to creep in…
Podcast: Play in new window
November 5th, 2010, 3:32 pm
So Joe gets two games for the hit on David Perron last night, let’s take a look:
To me, this hit looks fairly similar to the one Mike Richards put on David Booth, probably not as bad. Richards knocked Booth out for an extended period of time, and got no suspension. Joe got two games. Truly, the NHL justice system is probably a bunch of monkeys throwing darts, or perhaps typings stories (“It was the best of times, it was the blurst of times?! Stupid monkey!”). I predicted to Doug yesterday that Joe would get at least a game, and maybe two. Whee, I was right.
Despite the public outcry about the hit, either for or against the suspension, I think there’s a more serious issue in play. Take a look at Perron after the hit. He’s facedown on the ice, not moving. The trainer comes out, Perron’s on one knee, then slowly back to the bench. It’s not disputed that Perron was in fact hit in the head, and that he lay motionless on the ice. After that, Perron takes his next shift only one minute later in game time (probably 5-10 minutes later in real time). I’m no health care professional, but I’ve read enough about concussions to know that the symptoms can be widely varied, and the severity of the initial symptoms don’t always correlate to the severity of the concussion. Most importantly, the incidence and severity of future concussions is greatly increased if a person hasn’t fully recovered from a previous one.
That being said, one of the following two statements has to be true:
- The Blues’ training staff played very fast and loose with David Perron’s health. Seems difficult to believe that a thorough neurological exam could take place in the space of 5 minutes.
- David Perron faked his injury.
Either one of these is a serious problem for the NHL. Jamie Baker said in his post (he’s certainly on the side that Perron faked it) that this is becoming a trend- to fake injuries to draw penalties. All I know is, if the league is going to come out and say there will be stiff penalties for these types of hits, they have to know players will take advantage of that. Whether Perron did or didn’t here, there’s no way to know for sure. But I got my eye on you, Mike Ribero.
October 28th, 2010, 9:19 am
Is actually better than the Devil we know. I picked the Devils to make the playoffs this year, and they looked far from that last night. Their 5-on-5 play was so bad, which is just what the doctor ordered for the Sharks. The new cap’n drove the Sharks to a pretty easy 5-2 victory, with four of the goals even strength. Brodeur is aging, and his normal unpredictable style looked like panic instead of athleticism. There was a flukey goal at both ends of the ice, with a bad luck bounce off the glass leading to a David Clarkson tap-in on one end, and a strange bounce off the boards at the other end led to Jumbo completing his hat trick. Five point night for Joe, and the Devils had no answer to the HTML line, reunited (and it feels so good).
As far as the other lines go, B-. Seto is trying awfully hard, but it’s not going his way. Didn’t see much out of Pavs. Clowe is really adept now at using his body to protect the puck, but he needs to turn that into scoring chances instead of just zone time at the periphery. Good to see Boyle at +2. Vlasic and Wallin were -1 , but I’ll give them a pass, because that goal was the flukiest goal I’ve seen since JR’s 500th. Not only did it take a ridiculous bounce off the stanchion, it slowed down right in front of the goal for Clarkson. Nitty didn’t stray far from the crease on dump-ins after that. I still give Nitty an A- for last night- that goal was more bad luck than anything. The other goal stemmed from a huge penalty kill scramble that eventually kicked out to Andy Greene after about a dozen shots. Barring the disappointing game #2 performance against Columbus, Nittymaki has been over .930 in every game. Contrast that with Niemi, who was .938 opening night and has gone .857, .839, and .400 since. Ouch. Small sample size, yadda yadda, but right now it looks like DW’s initial goalie signing was well targeted.
The Sharks played the worst team in the NHL in terms of goal differential last night, and Saturday, they play the team with the second worst. The Ducks have given up 33 goals in 9 games. Let’s see if the Sharks can get some other lines rolling, and I fully expect another Nitty start. Gotta stay with the hot hand.
October 7th, 2010, 10:03 am
They waited until the very last minute as expected. Joe Thornton is the new captain of the Sharks. It’s a bit of a surprise, though not to everyone. After talking with Randy, I’m certainly not as surprised as I would have been if it was announced a month ago. If one guy ‘stirs the drink’ as Randy put it, it makes sense. The other contender, Dan Boyle, gets the “permanent ‘A’”, with the other ‘A’ rotating. Maybe the most surprising thing about the announcement is the news that Clowe will share the ‘A’. No mention of Pavelski.
Of course this is going to be covered and debated in Sharks Nation with zeal, and we’ve had our fair share of captaincy discussions over the past couple of years. The more I think about it, the less I think I know about it. This quote from McLellan is a bit of a clue:
The verbal leadership gets way overrated. We don’t need cheerleaders on our team by any means. We need people who speak their mind and then back it up on the ice.
Let’s face it, it’s not about us. It’s not about how good or bad a guy is at a press conference after a game. It’s not about whether we think a guy is too sunny, or too laid-back, or too intense. The captain is the PR face of the franchise, and for that reason, we think we should have a say, and what we see is all there is. Sure, it’d be nice if those two things agreed, and many times they do. But the real measure is wins, losses, and Cups. Warm fuzzies in the fan base aren’t counted. Would you really want it any other way?
September 8th, 2010, 7:55 am
Mike and Doug talk to Randy Hahn, the play-by-play television voice of the San Jose Sharks. They visit the news of Niemi arriving and Jamison leaving, and discuss the captaincy, something Randy commented on recently on his blog. Then the Dudes go into the Niemi thing in more detail and answer some listener emails. Check out the video preview too on youtube…
Podcast: Play in new window